The world of stock options is every changing. Last week, three new series of options were introduced. Options trades should be aware of these new options, and understand how they might fit into their options strategies, no matter what those strategies might be.
Three New (Weekly) Options Series Introduced
Last week, the CBOE announced the arrival of several new options series for our favorite ETFs as well as four individual popular stocks which have extremely high options activity.
Here they are:
For the above entities, there are now four Weekly options series available at any given time. In the past, Weekly options for the following week became available on a Thursday (with eight days of remaining life).
This is a big change for those of us who trade the Weeklys (I know that seems to be a funny way to spell the plural of Weekly, but that is what the CBOE does). No longer will we have to wait until Thursday to roll over short options to the next week to gain maximum decay (theta) for our short positions.
The stocks and ETFs for which the new Weeklys are available are among the most active options markets out there. Already, these markets have very small bid-ask spreads (meaning that you can usually get very good executions, often at the mid-point of the bid-ask spread rather than being forced to buy at the ask price and sell at the bid price). This advantage should extend to the new Weekly series, although I have noticed that the bid-ask spreads are slightly higher for the third and fourth weeks out, at least at this time.
The new Weeklys will particularly be important for Apple. Option prices have traditionally sky-rocketed for the option series which comes a few days after their quarterly earnings announcements. In the past, a popular strategy was to place a calendar or diagonal spread in advance of an announcement (further-out options tend to be far less expensive (lower implied volatility) than those expiring shortly after the announcement, and potentially profitable spreads are often available. The long side had to be the newt monthly series, often a full three weeks later.
With the new Weekly series now being available, extremely inexpensive spreads might be possible, with the long side having only seven days of more time than the Weeklys that you are selling. It will be very interesting come next January.
Bottom line, the new Weekly series will give you far more flexibility in taking a short-term view on stock price movement and/or volatility changes, plus more ways to profit from time decay. It is good news for all options traders.